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Archive for the ‘process’ Category

Grace (Eventually)

I love Anne Lamott. I love her because even though sometimes, theologically, I kinda raise my eyebrow, she always, always is honest and true. She struggles and whines and is delightfully human. And she has dreads, so really, how could you not love her?

And in her book Grace Eventually she says some really great and beautiful things. And it makes me remember that things like grace and healing, they’re a part of that slow, hard work of life. The kind that easily gets traded into routine, or cast aside because it’s not as exciting as the life we think we are supposed to be leading.

Truthfully, I’d have to say this is a sin of mine. This fantasizing about my life. Making it more glamorous than it really is. And all the while forgetting who and whose I am.

It’s just, why does no one tell you life isn’t as romantic as it sounds? That there is this whole huge middle part of your life that’s filled with pretty much the same thing everyday. And that doesn’t have to be bad. There’s a lot to be learned from it. Like contentment. Commitment. Faithfulness. But, none of those words drudge up images of Fabio with Kristen Stewart hair, a Rico Swauvey open shirt, kissing your next as your bosom spills out a too small corset.

But, then again, no one writes the sequels to those Fabio stories. Ones that would read like Fabio goes to the doctor and finds out he has crabs. Or Fabio fathers another illegitimate child whom he has no more to do with than a check once a month. Or even, the illustrious, Fabio settles down, gets a job where he wears suits with the buttons, buttoned to the top, and marries the girl he got pregnant.

Now, there is a best seller waiting to happen.

But, those books, those stories, those fantasies, they all bank on magic to change us. And I, for one, watched Cinderella enough times to know that nothing is wrong with me, I am just not accessorizing correctly. Were it as simple as buying glass slippers, I’d be all over that.

Instead, it’s the patience and the screaming and the scooting closer and closer and sometimes drastically in the other direction towards God. It’s shrugging shoulders, raising hands. And when you think about it, it still is magic, but it’s just a little more than the change of shoe. It’s the transformation of heart.

And even though most days, I stomp might feet and want grace now.

I’m learning about the beauty in grace eventually.

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A few months ago I was about to graduate college. I was about to have a degree that I loved, but no earthly idea what to do with it. So, I waited. I prayed. I trusted.

I didn’t do this things unfailing. Often, I’d get antsy and take control. I’d forget to pray and worry instead. And I’d anxiously agonize and doubt. But, the idea, the constant replay in my life was the same. Wait, pray, trust.

But a month or so from graduating, my roommate made a hard, brave decision to move back home, which derailed my plans. I needed a job, roommate, or place to live. So, I waited. I prayed. I trusted.

I didn’t do these things well. I oftened whined. Too often I took to unfaithfulness. I tried to micromanage. All of these things fell away, though, I continued to wait, pray, and trust, and my prayers were answered. Though, not at all like I expected.

So, then I moved home. I needed a job. I waited. I prayed. And I trusted.

I’m getting better at this. I still falter.

And now? Life is shifting. I feel it. I’m terrified of the things before me, and yet, three words continue in my head.

Wait.
Pray.
Trust.

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As the weather here in Texas changes from “so hot I contemplate peeling my skin off” to “thank God for AC,” I too change from “if I don’t interact with the world, it can’t possibly keep spinning” to “oh, hello, world, you still there?” And it’s all in good stride because sometimes we all need to shut off the world for a few days (erm, 2 weeks).

But, as I open my eyes and stretch my limbs, I find something unexpected. A cocoon, of sorts, which allows me to keep on growing, processing, but maybe in a better way. Because no matter how good and delicious Burn Notice is, it isn’t really doing anything in the way of this crazy journey I’m on. Except, I do know that a cell phone plugged into a USB outlet on a computer makes for a perfect bug.

And so here I am. In the one city I had so vehemently sworn off with a new humility that God is indeed the point, not my affinity for a city (among other things I’d like to think are more important). And this place I am in feels nearly indescrible to everyone else, except for these few who just know without me saying. And who somehow hear, “I just got to process all this fear and heal and rest a little, so I can do that thing I need to do,” when I say, “Oh, you know. I’ll get to save money. Spend time with my family. Figure out what to do.”

And the thing that woke me up today, that made me literally stop dead in my tracks, take a deep breath, and look a little crazy by speaking out loud to seemingly nothing was God. I just stopped and said, “Ok, let’s have this conversation, I’ve been putting off.” And so we did, and I cried a little, but it was a good cry that you have with God and when it’s over you take a deep breath and think, “So this is it. This is what has to happen.” And then you just trust with your whole being and when you can’t trust anymore, you trust that God will fill in the rest.

So, that being said, I’m back. But, I’m dancing a little slower, listening a little harder, and trying to write a lot more.

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